How to Plan Out Your Blog Posts
Once you’ve made the leap and committed to maintaining a blog, it’s essential that you update it regularly. After all, a blog with a few posts that are several months old is only slightly better than no blog at all. You must consistently add new content to establish your authority and increase traffic to your site. But before you can start filling your site with captivating content, you must first learn how to plan out blog posts.
Without a strategic plan to convey your message and connect with your target audience, the enthusiasm you have when writing your first blog post can quickly wane. It’s all too easy for the motivation to quickly disappear and let yourself ignore your blog for “just one week” when you don’t have a post planned out.
Unfortunately, not even veteran bloggers are immune from this phenomenon. Before you know it, a once-popular blog can fade into obscurity. This can happen far faster than you might expect, as millions of new blogs are published daily, each demanding attention and each more than happy to replace the blogger that hasn’t posted in a few weeks.
The good news is that you can make blog writing a fun, enjoyable, and productive experience — all by taking the time to plan out blog posts.
Here’s how you do it:
Set a Schedule
First, you’ll need to determine how frequently you will post. And while you might be tempted to copy the posting schedule of some of your favorite blogs, keep in mind that some of them might post multiple articles every day. Unfortunately, without a professional writing team on your payroll, this just isn’t a feasible goal.
Chances are, you don’t have time to write, edit, and publish several blog posts per day. You might only be able to manage one per day. Even more likely, you’ll probably only be able to start with one or two each week.
Of course, the more frequently you post to your blog, the better chance you have of maintaining readership. But when you don’t have the bandwidth to create and polish significant amounts of content, you should at least remain consistent. At the very least, you need a set schedule for posting so that your readers know when to check back for new content. To this end, you should post on the same days and at the same times so that your audience knows what to expect.
This schedule will also help you stay on track. If you know that you have a blog post that you need to publish in a few days, it will become much harder to procrastinate and put it off for another time. The pressure can be uncomfortable at first, especially if you’ve never written under a deadline, but it also builds discipline and will help you become a better writer.
Posting timely and relevant articles will not only interest your current readership, but it could also help you bring in new visitors and make conversions. To do this, you need to pay attention to what is happening worldwide and on the internet.
You can start by subscribing to news feeds (especially those aimed at your industry) and following competitive businesses and blogs to keep track of current trends. You don’t necessarily want to regurgitate what everyone else is talking about, but you do need to stay up-to-date with industry happenings, and knowing what others are talking about could inspire original topic ideas.
If you want to promote your blog posts and regularly reach new readers, the best way to do so is to include trends. You just need to get creative to ensure the topics and keywords you include are relevant to your readers — and that you don’t raise the ire of Google and other search engines with improper usage.
Cultivate Evergreen Content
It’s not entirely difficult to capitalize on popular trends and capture the easy traffic that comes with the hot news of the week. However, your blog will be more attractive to readers over the long haul if you regularly publish evergreen content.
Evergreen content is content that is always relevant. It doesn’t focus on trends, which come and go. It’s important to post timely content related to current events whenever possible, but this isn’t always possible. Not to mention that if a reader visits your blog in the future and only finds content that was relevant in years gone by, they won’t have much incentive to stick around.
For example, suppose that you write a fashion blog. An evergreen article might discuss the basic wardrobe staples every woman should have. This topic is always relevant, and the content is unlikely to change dramatically. This also allows you to repurpose such an article at any time with only minor changes.
Additionally, you can use seasonal content in a semi-evergreen capacity. Continuing the example of the fashion blog, you could annually publish articles about seasonal trends, what to wear to holiday gatherings, and so on. Then, all you have to do to repurpose these articles is swap in current information. You’ll have to write some new content, but you can reuse the topic, saving you some time and helping to fill in your posting schedule.
Consider Guest Posting
A great way to infuse some life into a blog that’s stuck in a rut is to take advantage of crossover opportunities, also known as guest posting. This is where you invite a blogger in the same or a similar industry to write a post for your blog, and in return, you do the same for them. If you find someone who writes similar content that is just different enough to change things up a little, this can be a great way to provide a unique, fresh take on your blog without alienating your readers.
The immediate benefit of guest posting is exposing your blog to a fresh, new readership that may have never heard your name before. If they like your content, you may win over several new readers. You’ll also have developed a relationship with someone in your industry, which is rarely a bad move.
But guest posting is also a great way to acquire backlinks ( links on other sites that route users back to your pages). Backlinks are incredibly helpful for your technical SEO, which improves your rankings and makes your content easier to find.
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